Our Response to COVID-19

At Interior, we are committed to providing up-to-date information and resources to help you safely visit DOI lands including national parks, national wildlife refuges, and other federally managed lands and facilities. 

Staying Safe and Recreating Responsibly

Whether seeking wide-open spaces or exploring a historic urban neighborhood, you should always recreate responsibly

To protect yourself and others from COVID-19, follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about how to protect yourself and others when visiting lands and recreational facilities. 

Help Us Stop the Spread

Follow the tips below to stay safe and help us stop the spread of COVID-19: 

  • Stay home if you don’t feel well or have recently been sick, or if you aren’t up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations and you have been in close-contact with another person with COVID-19. If you are sick with or tested positive for COVID-19, do not visit public areas including parks or recreational facilities. Follow the CDC’s recommended steps to take if you are sick
  • Check local conditions and requirements before you go. Check with local offices for current conditions, including mask requirements based on CDC COVID-19 Community Levels, closures, visitor information and operational status updates. Follow recommendations from the CDC and your state and local health authorities before visiting your public lands to best protect yourself, our employees, our partners, and our volunteers. Check with individual national parks or national wildlife refuges or visit the website of your local BLM office for details about operations. Find out which facilities and services are available. Be sure to bring enough food, water and other essential items to last the duration of your trip. 
  • Wash your hands often and don’t share items with people you don’t live with. Wash hands often, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. 

When to Wear a Mask as a Visitor

Interior is following CDC guidance for mask wearing as required by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, per Executive Order 13991



…the CDC COVID-19 Community Level is High where the facility is located   

Wear a mask indoors. 

…masks are required by federal, state, local, Tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of the CDC COVID-19 Community Level

Wear a mask. 

…the CDC COVID-19 Community Level is Medium or Low where the facility is located

You do not have to wear a mask in most situations.

…you want to use any form of DOI-operated aircraft, boats and other maritime transportation conveyances, and buses with multiple occupants, regardless of COVID-19 Community Levels;

Wear a mask. 

Get Vaccinated 

We strongly encourage everyone to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations. COVID-19 vaccines provide an opportunity to return to a more normal lifestyle and prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. If you are not up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations, please consider becoming up to date. In the meantime, maintain physical distance, and observe other COVID-19 health and safety protocols for unvaccinated individuals until you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations. 

More than 200 million Americans have already received COVID-19 vaccines with a very low occurrence of any serious side effects. All COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be intensely monitored for safety. The more unvaccinated people there are, the greater the chance COVID-19 has to spread and mutate into more contagious variants that cause severe disease. COVID-19 vaccines are our best defense and are effective against current variants. 

It is normal to have questions about the vaccines. We encourage you to find answers. Learn how you can find credible vaccine information, identify facts about COVID-19 vaccines and get answers to commonly asked questions about vaccinations

To find a location to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, visit Vaccines.gov (or for information in Spanish, visit Vacunas.gov). 

Our Workplace Safety Plan 

Our goal is to prioritize the health and safety of our workforce while sustaining the mission of the Department.  

The Department of the Interior COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan serves as a framework for our implementation of the President’s Executive Order, Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memo 21-15 COVID-19 Safe Federal Workplace: Agency Model Safety Principles

How We’re Responding to COVID-19

We continue to closely monitor and respond to COVID-19. We update and implement requirements based on direction from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, created by the President to give the heads of federal agencies ongoing guidance to keep their employees safe and their agencies operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are working with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, public health officials, health care providers, researchers and the public to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our employees, visitors, partners, and contractors safe. At every step, we are using the latest science to guide our decision-making. 

The lead agencies coordinating the federal response to COVID-19 are the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Interior’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) supports this effort by planning and implementing Interior’s response. 


Federal Government Response

Frequently Asked Questions

Rumors and Myths

Responsible Recreation

Guidance from Our Bureaus and Offices

Find COVID-19 Vaccines Near You. Visit Vaccines.gov or call I-800-232-0233